Lee Chomskis, Vidalia
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “The real difference-maker in winning championships is having players! Check the roster of every team playing in the state championship game. The real difference-maker in consistent winning is the culture of character within a program. Long-term success occurs when the coaches, players and supporters set themselves apart from what society tells us and buys into the culture of servant leadership. Caring about one another and wanting what is best for all involved has always proven to be a winner.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I have been fortunate to have coached several that have proven to be high-character young men. Several have even inspired me to be a better person, but the one young man that always comes to my mind is Michael Jones. Michael played offensive line for a young hard-headed offensive line coach at Evans High School. He was asked to move from tight end to center his senior year. He never even blinked. He wanted to do whatever he could to make the team better. He embraced the move and proved to be one of our team leaders. In today’s society, where it’s an all-about-me attitude, this is very hard to find. Michael is now an administrator at Washington-Wilkes High School. He is still impacting others on a daily basis as he continues an incredible team-first attitude.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “This is an easy one for me. When Vidalia and Toombs County play, the atmosphere home or away is as electric as anything I have ever been a part of. We are two AA schools that are 8-10 miles apart. The rivalry has gone on forever, and the people in this community are fanatical about the game. I hope that our players are aware of how blessed they are to have the opportunity to experience something that is so meaningful to so many. It does not matter about the record or the time of year, the stadium is filled to standing-room only.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “This question seems to lead you to think about the one that got away, but I would rather talk about the one that we were able to steal. In 2014, Vidalia was playing Benedictine for a possible region championship. We were not picked to win by anyone except ourselves. We had to travel to Savannah and enter a very intimidating atmosphere. This Benedictine team would later become state champions that year. I will also say they were the best team in the state that year by far, but on this night, we were able to beat them. It was an incredible high school game! The final score was Vidalia 35, Benedictine 28. Our kids did the impossible, and pulled off the upset. I would go back and play this game again and again and again!”
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